The Warriors are in the Western Conference finals, but the road to this point has been bumpy as the team has navigated through injuries the entire season.
After Klay Thompson's long-awaited return from his two-year absence, Draymond Green went down to a back injury. And once Green returned, then Steph Curry landed on the inactive list after hurting his foot. The Warriors had not had a full game in which all three of their stars played, until the start of the playoffs.
Despite the tremendous experience and success that the core had together in the past, former Warrior Matt Barnes found that the team's lack of time on the court together, to build up their chemistry, has had an effect on their execution so far during this playoff run. To Barnes, the key to a deeper Warriors' run starts with simply more time on the court together as a healthy unit.
"It's just them continuing to build their chemistry," Barnes said on the latest episode of the Dubs Talk podcast. "And to me, it just shows how good they are that they haven't played as well as they are capable of playing, and they are still in the Western Conference finals."
Building chemistry and experimenting with new lineups comes with growing pains of course, and Barnes, like everyone watching the team, sees the obvious.
"The one thing that I would point out, and they have discussed several times, is limiting their turnovers," Barnes explained. "They get very loose with the ball at times, and against a team like Dallas, the further in the playoffs you go, the more dangerous that is."
Of the teams that remain in the playoffs, the Warriors lead the pack in turnovers per game at 15.8, while the Mavericks defense has forced 13.6 turnovers per contest in the postseason. Against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals, the Warriors turned the ball over nearly 18 times a game.
"Obviously with their pace and style, they are a team that will turn the ball over, but not the numbers they saw when closing out the Grizzlies series." Barnes said.
At the end of the day, despite the sometimes reckless nature of their control of the ball, and some spurts of poor shooting, Barnes feels like this team is destined for a chance at the title.
"I feel like they are still working their way into shape, and the fact that they are not hitting on all cylinders, and they are in the Western Conference finals, shows that there is still some improving to go, and I think they will do that in this series and be ready for the Finals," Barnes said.